Meg (Meg Series #1)

( 151 )

Overview

Revised and Expanded new edition of the NY Times Bestseller. On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he's sure he saw but still can't prove exists - Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in...
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Overview

Revised and Expanded new edition of the NY Times Bestseller. On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he's sure he saw but still can't prove exists - Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds. Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub. Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he's never imagined. MEG is about to surface. When she does, nothing and no one is going to be safe, and Jonas must face his greatest fear once again.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Jaws redux: In this debut, no one believes that deep-sea submersible pilot Jonas Taylor has had a nasty encounter with a Megaladonone of those 60' babies said to be the progenitors of today's great white sharkuntil something huge repeatedly snarls up the cables of another deep-sea probe.
Kirkus Reviews
As Jaws meets Jurassic Park, Meg (short for megladon) brings us a 60-foot, 20-ton prehistoric shark with a nine-foot-wide mouth that is likely to gobble up bestseller lists, as well as reappear in 1998 as a summer blockbuster.

In rather characterless prose, debut novelist Alten's well-groomed story rockets like a pre-edited filmscript from event to event. But the author's love of his title character is clear, as he keeps his Lord and Master of the Sea, a female Carcharodon Megalodon, frequently front and center. Seven years ago, Professor Jonas Taylor, a paleontologist and deep-sea submersible pilot, first saw such a shark, thought to be extinct, while diving more than seven miles down in the Marianas Trench. During the Ice Age, members of the species, it turns out, took refuge in the hot thermals on the ocean bottom. Lethally cold water above has kept from them resurfacing. Jonas's first encounter cost two lives, and has burdened him with profound guilt. He goes back down to the abyss anyway, accompanied by Masao Tanaka, the owner of a huge aquarium on the California coast. When a male Megalodon gets entrapped in steel cables in the trench, he's attacked by a pregnant female; she follows the male to the surface, surviving the journey, and discovers a warm new world, filled with varied, easy, hot-blooded prey. Clearly, the shark is an ecological disaster, especially when she gives birth to three more of her kind. Taylor and Tanaka, however, don't want to destroy the shark but rather to harness her drugged body and haul it into confinement. This means some vastly dangerous close work with her once she's located, with Taylor hovering about the monster in a submersible that becomes theinstrument of an utterly amazing climax. A female offspring in captivity at story's end guarantees a sequel.

Weightless characters on a choppy sea—but hellishly riveting.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599551692
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Incorporated/CFI Distribution
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Series: Meg Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 430
  • Sales rank: 169,708
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Alten grew up in Philadelphia and has several degrees, including a Doctorate of Education from Temple University. His first novel—Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror—was written over many late nights and weekends while Steve worked a “real job” to support his family. On Friday the 13th, he lost his “real job,” but four days later landed a two-book publishing deal.

Meg would eventually be sold in more than twenty countries, hit every major best-seller list (#19 on the New York Times) and even become a popular radio series in Japan.

Since then, Steve has written several more books in the Meg series, as well as novels and screen plays across a variety of genres and topics.

Visit www.SteveAlten.com to personally contact the author or learn more about his novels.
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Read an Excerpt

Spotting the predator's glow, the chopper followed the female as she headed out to sea, radioing their position to the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Within minutes, both the Nautilus and the Kiku had put to sea, racing north past Mamala Bay. By the time the Kiku reached Kaena Point, the incoming storm had reached gale-force proportions, the raging night fully upon them.

Jonas and Terry were in the pilothouse as the door leading to the deck tore open against the howling wind. Mac slipped into the dry compartment, slamming the hatch closed behind him, his yellow slicker dripping all over the floor.

"Copter's secured. So's the net and harpoon gun. We're in for a rough one, Jonas."

"This may be our only chance. Our last report indicated most of the whale pods have left these coastal waters. If we don't at least tag the female before she heads into open waters, we may lose her for good."

The three entered the CIC, where Masao was standing over a crewman seated at the sonar console. He looked grim. "The Coast Guard broke off their pursuit because of the weather." Masao turned to the crewman. "Anything on sonar yet, Pasquale?"

Without looking up, the Italian shook his head. "Just the Nautilus." He hung on to his console as a twenty-foot swell lifted and tossed the research vessel from one side to the other.

Captain Barre stood at the helm, his sea legs giving naturally with the roll of his vessel. "Hope nobody had a big dinner. This storm is gonna be a bitch."


Life on board the world's first nuclear-powered submarine was relatively calm as the ship entered Waimea Bay one hundred feet below the raging storm.Originally commissioned in the summer of 1954, the sub possessed a single nuclear reactor that created the superheated steam necessary to power its twin turbines and two shafts. Although the vessel had set many records for undersea voyages, none would match her historic journey to the North Pole in 1958. Decommissioned in 1980, the sub was originally scheduled to return to Groton, Connecticut, where she was built, until Commander McGovern petitioned the Navy to bring her to Pearl Harbor as a tourist attraction.

When he learned of the Megalodon attack in the Mariana Trench, McGovern knew the crisis required naval intervention. But he also knew he could not justify the use of a Los Angeles class submarine to locate a prehistoric shark. Danielson's suggestion to use the Nautilus made sense, and so the submarine returned to duty after seventeen years of inactivity.

"Anything on the sonar, Ensign?"

The sonar man was listening with his headphones while watching his console screen. The screen was designed to give a visual representation of the difference between the background noise and a particular bearing. Any object within range would appear as a light line against the green background. "Lots of surface activity from this storm. Nothing else, sir."

"Very well, keep me informed. Chief of the watch, what's our weapons status?"

Chief Engineer Dennis Heller, six years younger than his brother Frank, yet still one of the oldest members of the sub's makeshift crew, looked up from his console. "Two Mark 48 AD-CAP torpedoes ready to fire on your command, sir. Torpedoes set for close range, as per your orders. A bit tight, if you don't mind my saying, sir."

"Has to be, Chief. There's nothing to lock on to here. When sonar locates this monster, we'll need to be as close as possible to ensure an accurate solution."

"Captain Danielson!" The radioman leaned back from his console. "I'm receiving a distress call from a Japanese whaler. Hard to make out, sir, but it sounded as if they're being attacked!"

"Navigator, plot an intercept course, ten degrees up on the fair-weather planes. If this is our friend, I want to kill it and be back at Pearl in time for last call at Grady's."


The Japanese whaler Tsunami rolled with the massive swells, rain and wind pelting her crew mercilessly. The vessel's hold was dangerously overloaded with its illegal catch: the carcasses of eight gray whales. Two more had been lashed to the port side of the ship with a cargo net.

Two lookouts held on to their precarious perch and strained their eyes in weather and darkness. The two mates had been assigned the hazardous duty of making sure the valuable blubber remained firmly secured during the storm. Unfortunately for the exhausted men, their searchlight hardly penetrated the maelstrom. Sporadic flashes of lightning afforded the only real vision of their precious cargo.

Flash. The ocean dropped from view as the ship rolled to starboard, the cargo net groaning with its keep. The sailors hung on as the Tsunami rolled to port. Flash. The sea threatened to suck them under, the net actually disappearing momentarily beneath the waves. Flash. The vessel rolled back to starboard, the net reappearing. The men gasped--a massive white triangular head had risen from the sea with the cargo!

Darkness. The Tsunami rolled, its lookouts blind in the storm. Silent seconds passed. Then, flash, a fork of lightning lit the sky and the horrible head reappeared, its mouth bristling razor-sharp teeth.

The mates screamed, but the storm muted the sound. The senior mate signaled to the other that he would find the captain. Flash. The unimaginably large jaws were tearing at the carcass now, the head leaning sideways against the rolling vessel, gnashing at the whale blubber.

The ship rolled to starboard once more. The senior mate struggled to make it down to the wooden deck, squeezing his eyes shut against the gale and holding tight to the rope ladder. He could lower himself only a rung at a time as the ship listed to port . . . and kept rolling! He opened his eyes, felt his stomach churn. Flash. The sea kept coming, the triangular head gone. But something was pulling the Tsunami onto its side and into the water.


"Captain, the whaler is two hundred yards ahead."

"Thank you, Chief. Take us to periscope depth."

"Periscope depth, aye, sir."

The sub rose as Danielson pressed his face against the rubber housing of the periscope and stared into darkness. The night scope turned the blackness topside into shades of gray, but the storm and rolling waves severely reduced visibility. Flash. The raging Pacific was illuminated, and for an instant Danielson caught a silhouette of the whaler lying on its side.

He pulled back. "Contact the Coast Guard," he ordered. "Where's their nearest cutter?"

"Sir," responded the radioman, "the only surface ship within twenty miles is the Kiku."

"Captain, you'd better look at this, sir." The sonar man stood. His fluorescent screen showed the position of the downed whaler . . . and something else, circling the vessel.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter




CHAPTER ONE

MEGALODON

Late Cretaceous Period, 70 Million Years Ago The Coast of the Asiamerica-Northern Landmass (Pacific Ocean)

From the moment the early morning fog had begun to lift, they sensed they were being watched. The herd of Shantungosaurus had been grazing along the misty shoreline all morning. Measuring more than forty feet from their duck-billed heads to the end of their tails, these reptiles, the largest of the hadrosaurs, gorged themselves on the abundant supply of kelp and seaweed that continued to wash up along the shoreline with the incoming tide. Every few moments, the hadrosaurs raised their heads nervously like a herd of deer, listening to the noises of the nearby forest. They watched the dark trees and thick vegetation for movement, ready to run at the first sign of approach.

    Across the beach, hidden among the tall trees and thick undergrowth, a pair of red reptilian eyes followed the herd. The Tyrannosaurus rex, largest and most lethal of all terrestrial carnivores, stood twenty-two feet above the forest floor. Saliva oozed from its mouth as T. rex watched, quivering with adrenaline. The two largest duckbills had just ventured out into shallow water, lowering their heads to forage among the thick strains of kelp.

    The killer crashed from the trees, his eight tons pounding the sand and shaking the earth with every step. The duckbills rose on their hind legs and scattered in both directions along the beach. The two reptiles in the surf turned to see the carnivore closing on them, jaws wide, fangs bared, its bone-chilling roar drowning the crash of the surf. The pair of hadrosaurs turned instinctively, plunging into deeper waters to escape. They strained their long necks forward and began to swim, their legs churning to keep their heads above water.

    T. rex plunged in behind them, crashing through the surf and into deeper waters. But as it neared its prey, the T. rex's feet sank into the muddy sea floor. Unlike the buoyant hadrosaurs, the thickly muscled T. rex could not swim and became hopelessly bogged in the mire.

    The hadrosaurs now swam in thirty feet of water. But having escaped one predator, they now faced another.

    The six-foot gray dorsal fin rose slowly from the sea, gliding silently across their path. The current created by the creature's sheer mass began pulling the hadrosaurs into deeper waters. The duckbills panicked at the sudden change. They would take their chances with the Tyrannosaurus. Within the deep waters lurked certain death. They turned, thrashing and paddling frantically until they once again felt the familiar mud beneath their feet.

    T. rex let out a thundering growl. In water to its chest, the predator struggled to keep from sinking farther into the soft sea floor. The duckbills broke in either direction, passing within fifteen yards of the frustrated hunter. The T. rex lunged at them, snapping its terrible jaws, howling in rage at its fleeing prey. The duckbills bounded through the smaller waves and staggered onto the beach. Collapsing on the warm sand, too exhausted to move, the two hadrosaurs looked back once more to face their would-be killer.

    The Tyrannosaurus could now hold his huge head only a few feet above water. Insane with rage, it slashed its tail wildly in an attempt to free one of its hind legs. Then, all at once, it stopped struggling and stared out to sea.- From the dark waters, slicing through the gray fog, the great dorsal fin was approaching.

    The T. rex cocked its head and stood perfectly still, realizing too late that it had wandered into the domain of a superior hunter. For the first and last time in its life, the Tyrannosaurus felt the icy grip of fear.

    If the T. rex was the most terrifying creature ever to walk the earth, then Carcharodon megalodon was easily lord and master of the sea. The red eyes of the Tyrannosaurus followed the gray dorsal fin, feeling the tug of current caused by the unseen mass circling below. The fin disappeared beneath the muddy waters. T. rex growled quietly, searching through the haze. The towering dorsal fin rose again from the mist, now racing directly for him. The T. rex roared and struggled, vainly snapping its jaws in futile protest.

    From the beach, the two exhausted hadrosaurs watched as T. rex was slammed backward through the ocean with a great whoosh, its huge head disappearing beneath the waves. In a moment the dinosaur surfaced again, wailing in agony as its rib cage was crushed within the jaws of its hunter, a fountain of blood spouting from its mouth.

    The mighty Tyrannosaurus rex vanished beneath the swirling scarlet water. A long moment passed, and the sea remained silent. The hadrosaurs turned and lumbered toward the trees. Suddenly they turned, cowering at an explosion in the water. Clutching T. rex in its gargantuan mouth, the sixty-foot shark, nearly three times the size of its prey, burst from the water, its enormous head and muscular upper torso quivering as it fought to remain suspended above the waves. Then, in an incredible display of raw power, the Meg shook the reptile from side to side between nine-inch serrated teeth, spraying pink froths and gouts of gore in every direction. The twenty-ton Megalodon and its mutilated prey crashed back into the sea, sending a great swell of water high into the air around them.

    No other scavengers approached the Megalodon as it fed in the tropical waters. It had no mate to share its kill with, no young to feed. The Meg was a companionless creature, territorial by nature. It mated when it must and killed its young when it could, for the only challenge to its reign came from its own kind. It could adapt and survive the natural catastrophes and climatic changes that caused the mass extinctions of the giant reptiles and countless prehistoric mammals. And while its numbers would eventually dwindle, some members of its species might survive, isolated from the world of man, hunting in the isolated darkness of the ocean depths.

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Interviews & Essays


Before the live bn.com chat, Steve Alten agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q: I know you've studied oceanography. Do you scuba dive? Have you been in the water since finishing Meg?

A: I've just started taking scuba lessons. Today is my first underwater dive. I'm sure I'll be looking around for sharks.

Q: Steve Alten, you've just sold your first novel and the movie rights for a fantastic sum! Where are you going, Disneyland or Disney World?

A: I've sent the wife and kids to Disney World. Right now, I'm too busy finishing my second novel, The Sire, to take time off.

Q: What books do you give as gifts?

A: Meg, because I get them from Doubleday for free.

Q: What's the greatest movie you've ever seen? Are there any movies you watch over and over?

A: I don't know if I have a favorite movie. I definitely enjoy action movies: "Predator," "Terminator," "Jurassic Park," "Independence Day." Meg should be a great movie, especially with the advances in special effects since "Jaws" came out over 20 years ago. Movies like "Ordinary People" and "Parenthood" always get to me as well.

Q: Coffee or tea? Regular or decaf?

A: Sorry, I don't drink coffee or tea, or alcohol for that matter.

Q: What, to you, is the most important day of the year?

A: Every new day is the most important. Having one's health and happiness is all that really matters.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 151 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(104)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    it described scienctists ideas about extinction

    This book has described a life of a troubled scientist whose beliefs and troubles have haunted him and nearly destroyed his life until science was proved wrong and he was needed to stop a monster. The one thing that I loved was the fact that the author described how an ancient species could live without being discovered by man, but could be declared extinct until once again discovered by man. When the megalodon attacked the underwater submersible in front of Jonas he then knew that his unfortunate accident wasn¿t because he dozed off it was because of the shark that attacked his ship. This was something that amazed me when the author actually had some theories that went along with idea that the shark could still be living there and the fact that he finally brought on the shark. Overall this book was awesome and I hope other readers will think that too.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Gets the blood pumping...

    I truly enjoyed this story line. The science was believeable and entertaining while being informative. Makes "Jaws" look like swimming with dolphins.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    STILL think about it!

    I read this when it first came out and the following books in the series, Steve Alten is amazing!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2007

    Excellent Read!

    This book was passed on to me by my mother-in-law. I was captivated by this book from the very first page and have been facinated with anything to do with the Megaladon shark ever since. I am scared of sharks, so this made the book even better. If you love a good story plot and are interested in what could really be out there, try this book! You won't be disappointed!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent!!

    This is going to be a very exciting series and I hope it go's on for years. I hope it stays fiction but things are washing up on shores all the time, like 30 foot squids etc.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2006

    Utter garbage ...

    Sorry but this author has no idea what he's doing. Characters, plot, everything is very poorly done. Don't mean to be so harsh but read something else or even watch some straight-to-video.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    IF ikt were a report card... DISTINGUISHED HONERS!!!

    A truely horrific tale of a struggling man with a memory so terrifying it will knock your socks off. I highly recomend this book to anyone espesially thosewho have an intrest in any genres espesially horror.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome tale of Megalodon!

    I did not want to put this down! Can't wait to catch up the rest of the series!

    Alten's science is right on for a possible reality. The Meg could in theory exist in the depths of the trench. The action keeps the reader turning the pages to see what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A great imaginable peice that takes you on a spellbinding adventure

    Wow utterly stunned at the quality of this book. Steve alten is a fresh and imaginative author who adds a personal flare of suspense and horror. It was a great book but still could have some things to change. The list is endless on why you should read this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    Loved it!

    It sucks you in from beginning to end! Entire Meg Series a MUST READ!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    WHAT IF THEY'RE STILL DOWN THERE......

    This book was awsome!! I loved it from the first page, and even when jonas saw the meg in the trench for the first time. There were a lot of neat and scientific facts with this book. ALTEN YOUR THE MAN!!!! Alten can write a mean shark book anytime.... as he has clearly shows with this series!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    wow!

    This book was awsome. the way he decribed the area and people was awsome. i wish he decribed terry t more but overall a great book. The ending is amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    meg, behind the people

    meg was a awesome book about a giant megalodon shark. The characters were the best part of the book to me, i like the way he described and used there personalities in the books its self. I wish he would have described terry character more near the ending but even with that it still was a great scientific action packed exploding novel. this book had also many twist and surprise even from the beginning which hooks you into the story line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Loved this book

    I first got my hands on 'MEG' when it was first published and I couldn't put it down until it was finished. I've probably reread this book so many times, I can quote most of the chapters. Alten is a fantastic writer with great writing skill

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2007

    Sent chills down my back!!

    This book is so fast! The story moves at the speed of light and some how manages to move faster. I read it in 2 days! The main character, Jonas Taylor, is very intersting and complex. The action is so descriptive that you envision a 70-foot shark lunging at you! It scared me pretty good. I recommend this book for any one who loves a fun story with great characters and lightning speed writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2007

    The New Literary Standard (That May Replace the Bible)

    Mr.Alten has redefined the very existence of literature with this masterpiece. Faulkner, Joyce, Proust and Huxley became juvenille hacks once 'MEG' hit the store shelves. Poetic, visceral, and simply awe-inspiring in its execution 'MEG' is the future of novel writing for years to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2001

    Too Bad I Can't Give It ZERO Stars.

    This is just awful. The only reason I'm taking the time to jot down a 'review' is to warn other readers not to waste their money like I did. No entertainment value, and I'd also advise the author to stop writing his own five-star reviews. You mislead people into buying this dreck and you'll just p*** them off. The writing is inept and unimaginative, the concept cartoonish, and the fact that it got published at all (much less for the rumored big bucks) an aberration against nature. Absolutely dreadful, and unreservedly NOT RECOMMENDED. Ugh! (If I sound peeved it's because I wasted money on this garbage--misled once again by false reviews and cover publicity.)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Really Great Story

    I bought this book for my husband who doesn't read much at all. He is more of a computer guy. He sat down and finished it in two days. Then I had to order the rest of the Meg series. So if your guy doesn't read much this might just be the book for him. It has a great story and action/adventure that he might like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A good book, but not recommended to youngsters.

    Steve Alton knows how to write an action book, this book has A LOT of action. But I do not recommended to youngsters under the age of maybe 16. If you older than that age this book is a great read, i totally recommend it. Steve Alton did his research, heck, even I learn a couple of things.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bad Assed Series, Bad Assed Shark

    The general deal with Meg is, if you want nailbiting and terrifying action, look no further. As a person with a love of all creatures prehistoric I was very excited when I found out that there was a book series about a Megalodons. Mr.Alten obviously has a great respect for the creatures. He adds some of the newest evidence about these albino monsters which makes it obvious that he does his research. There were times in the story when even I was afraid to go into th water. From the opening scene on he gives non stop thrill after thrill. I mean, a T-Rex vs. a Megalodon?! Whaaat? Genius.

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